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Every Man Should Know About These 12 Shaving Tips

Every Man Should Know About These 12 Shaving Tips

Shaving is something that most men do every day but seldom give much thought to. That said, putting a little effort into your hair removal routine can yield dividends in added comfort and improved skin. Turn your morning chore into a spa-like indulgence with these simple tips:

Pre-Shave

While most men are accustomed to just slopping on some drug store shaving foam and hacking away at their morning stubble, a good pre-shave routine can improve both the quality of your shave and dramatically reduce any irritation to your precious face.

1. Take a HOT shower

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    While many of us rely on a hot shower in the morning to shock us into consciousness, steaming up the bathroom can also be a great first step in your shaving routine. Steam causes the pores in your face to relax and the skin to soften, allowing your razor to slide smoothly across your morning mug.

    2. Soften your beard

    While in the shower, apply a generous coating of hair conditioner into your beard and work it in with your fingertips. Let the conditioner stay on your beard for a couple of minutes, allowing it to soften the hair on your face.

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    3. Use a Pre-Shave Oil

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      Once you get out of the shower, your beard and the skin underneath it will be soft and supple, and by applying a layer of pre-shave oil, you can help to keep it that way by locking in the moisture. In addition, oil helps to lubricate the blade as it moves across the contours of your face, reducing nicks and irritation. While you can buy specialty shaving oils, you can also use plain old olive, coconut, canola or just about any other oil that you can think of… save for that which goes in your car.

      Shave Time

      Finally, the main event! Now that your face is good and ready, we can get out the razor and begin the precision process of shaving.

      4. Use a sharp blade

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        Whether you rock a straight edge blade, DE safety razor or a plain old Mach 3 disposal, the important thing is that whatever you use is sharp. With razor cartridge prices being as insanely high as they are, you can see why some dudes opt to reuse the same blade for three months straight, until it is basically just tearing the hair from their face… don’t be that guy, it is not worth the money you are saving. Change blades as soon as they start to drag across your beard as opposed to gliding smoothly. Most disposable blades are only good for a week’s worth of shaving, sometimes less. If you find that changing your razor cartridges that often is bleeding you dry, consider switching to a double edge safety razor, the blades are ultra sharp and dirt cheap.

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        5. Apply a high quality shaving cream

        Ditch that old can of Barbasol and pick up a high quality shaving cream made with all natural ingredients that will not only improve your shave but nourish your skin. Avoid any product that contains parabens or silicone. If you want a real treat, try using a high quality badger or boar hair shaving brush to get a really good lather going, you will thank me.

        6. Use short strokes

        There is a common shaving misconception that it is better to make long, continuous strokes, from upper cheek to the bottom of your neck. In actuality, you are better off with short precise strokes which allow you to better control the amount of downward pressure you are placing on your razor, which helps limit irritation.

        7. First, shave with the grain

        On your first run, shave in the direction of your hair growth. This will help you to remove the bulk of the hair and cause minimal irritation.

        8. Then shave across and against the grain

        After your initial shave, reapply shaving cream and completely clean your razor before shaving across the grain and then finally against the grain for a super close shave that might just keep your five o’clock shadow at bay for a few extra hours.

        Post-Shave

        Now that the hard part is over, there are just a few more steps to make sure that your money-maker looks great after losing its hairy top coat.

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        9. Rinse your face with cold water

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          Remove any remaining shaving cream or pre-shave oil by splashing your face with cold water, which will close your pores and tighten the skin of your face.

          10. Use an Alum Block

          Go buy an alum block… it’s okay, we’ll wait. Alright, now wet that alum block and gently run it across your freshly shaved face and prepare to feel every spot that you nicked just moments earlier. Alum is a mild antiseptic that will help to instantly seal any minor cuts while cooling and refreshing your skin.

          11. Apply a toner

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            Splash a little witch hazel or any other high quality toner onto your skin and wipe it off with a cotton pad to remove any excess oils form your skin.

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            12. Moisturize

            If your skin feels dry after your shaving routine, be sure to apply a moisturizer, preferably one with SPF protection to the dry areas and work it in gently with your fingertips.

            Congratulations! You look awesome and there are no little bits of toilet paper currently stuck to your face… Welcome to paradise.

            What do you think? Share your shaving secrets in the comments.

            Featured photo credit: Matt Thompson / Classic safety razor via flic.kr

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            Last Updated on November 9, 2020

            10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

            10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

            Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, breaking bad habits is difficult because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

            Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

            Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

            If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

            Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower, and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

            1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

            Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

            Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

            Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

            2. No Motivation

            Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academic pressure, and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

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            This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family, and life in general.

            If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

            3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

            Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to start breaking bad habits.

            A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

            A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

            The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

            4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

            One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

            We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

            Overeating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of chips, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are necessary for survival. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good, and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

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            You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

            5. Upward Comparisons

            Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

            The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

            These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

            Research shows that in the age of social media, social comparisons are much easier and can ultimately harm self-esteem if scrolling becomes a bad habit[2].

            6. No Alternative

            This is a real and valid reason why breaking bad habits is difficult. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

            Someone who has physical or psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

            Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

            Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

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            7. Stress

            As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing an unhealthy habit.

            When a person is stressed about something, it is easy for bad habits to form because the mental resources required to fight them are not available[3].

            We often see a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

            If you need some help reducing stress, check out the following video for some healthy ways to get started:

            8. Sense of Failure

            People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

            Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

            Overeaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in, and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store. Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

            If such people slip even once with a glass of wine, or a smoke, or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

            9. The Need to Be All-New

            People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

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            These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit and try to create good habits from there.

            10. Force of Habit

            Humans are creatures of habit, and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

            Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or eating junk food when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

            These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them, as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

            Final Thoughts

            These are the main reasons why breaking bad habits is difficult, but the good news is that the task is not impossible. Breaking habits takes time, and you’ll need to put long-term goals in place to replace a bad habit with a good one.

            There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

            More on Breaking Bad Habits

            Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?
            [2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem.
            [3] Stanford Medicine: Examining how stress affects good and bad habits

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